Three more n00b questions about SU

  1. Tape measure scaling: Why is it sometimes it works perfectly as intended – measure the thing to be scaled, enter new value, click yes, see thing scaled to desired size – but other times all that happens is a dashed guide line appears, and my blood pressure spikes?

  2. Why is it that deleting an entire something in one action from a face sometimes or often causes the face to vanish too, even when I’m certifiably insanely careful to not delete any shared lines or similar. This leaves me to laboriously delete an object edge by edge, which is frustrating when it’s a complex object, and truly apoplexy-inducing when there are a bunch of objects to be deleted from the face.

  3. Is there a way to force SketchUp to always move an object from a designated point, such as a guide?

For instance, say I have created Cool Thing and need to place it precisely on Other Cool Thing. If I have three Cool Things, the first two times I have to move the pointer to the guide, click it, CTRL-C, move the pointer to the designated place, CTRL-V… then once again move the pointer to the guide of the newly pasted Cool Thing and move it to the designated place on Other Cool Thing. But the third time when I CTRL-V the pointer will already be centered on the guide, which makes placing it easy.

Great, right? Yeah, except if I have a hundred Cool Things to move SketchUp never pastes with the pointer on the guide. I have to move the arrow to the guide, click it, then move the Cool Thing into position. Every. ■■■■. Time.

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default use is to make guidelines.
press ctrl and it’s now only scaling mode. it’s written at the bottom of the screen.
you can see next to your cursor, if there are lines, then it’s guide mode. if no lines, then it’s scale.

can’t say without seeing the model, but in general, it means you deleted part of the face or a line that defines the face with the rest.

move tool + ctrl
it makes copies but you choose where from.
From what you describe, you make copies with ctrlC/V but using the move tool + ctrl is way more precise and efficient. plus, after you make one copy, you can repeat it with either /x or *x (x being the total number of copies you want)

You can check this link if you need, it’s filled with basic tool behaviour and good practices


That ctrl tip is awesome! I never knew about this!

One question about this: I see nothing at the bottom of the screen. Not related to the actions or anything else. Is there an optional Status Bar or similar I have to enable?

Yeah, my thoughts too initially, but I try unselecting edges one at a time in case it’s somehow in use by the face/other objects, but always end up with nothing selected. Any attempt at mass-selecting and deleting edges always leads to the face vanishing too. I’m always reduced to deleting edges (etc.) one at a time. Painful enough if it’s just one complex object, but frustrating as hell when there are a bunch of them.

Not sure if I really explained it properly. I want to copy something from one source and paste it into another, but when it is pasted in I would like the pointer to already (and always) be on a designated point, such as a center guide or whatever, so that I can copy-paste and place a bunch of them without having to always manually select the guide point of the pasted object every time and then move it to the desired position.

Does that make sense?

normally, if you’re fullscreen, you should see it by default. it’s the bar with the dimensions info and such.
right click on the bottom bar, it should give you various things you can activate or deactivate. it’s the 3rd one
(geolocation button, author button, then the status bar, then measurement and measurement field)

yes. then no.
if you ctrlC/V you’ll always grab the copy from its origin (think of it as a group or component, it has its own origin)

The only way to make a copy from a specific point is to use move + ctrl and click on this specific point.
also, if you press twice on ctrl before starting your copy, you’ll activate a stamp mode. The stamp mode is like making many ctrlV except you’re using the move tool, so you’re choosing what point you’re copying from.

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@dezmo was quicker, I had to look to find a suitable image, from @Box

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I assume that the face from which the complicated geometry is being removed is truly a Face entity in SketchUp terms, not a Surface which is multiple faces joined by softened edges. Here is a possible work-around to simplify the tedium of edge-by-edge deletion: create a temporary rectangle or circle on the face around the unwanted geometry. It could be any shape that completely encloses the unwanted geometry. Now select the unwanted geometry as best as you are able and delete it. The interior of the temporary rectangle/circle shape should prevent the bulk of the face from being deleted. After deleting any straggling bits of unwanted geometry, trace an edge of the temporary shape to fill it in with a face, then delete the temporary shape. (An easy way to do that is to double-click on the shape’s interior face interior to select the face and the shape’s border, then Shift single-clicking on the interior face to deselect the face. Then press Delete.)

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I enabled Prompt and the Measurement options!

From your replies, I’m not convinced I’ve explained myself properly yet. Here’s what I’m hoping to be able to do:


  1. Open a drawing that includes an object which has (eg) a guide point;
  2. select the object and guide point;
  3. CTRL-C;
  4. open another drawing:
  5. CTRL-V the object from the first drawing, but with the pointer already on the object’s guide point, so I can just immediately move it into the desired position within the second drawing.

Step 5 does happen a lot of the time, but it only seems to happen after a random number of cut-n-pastes. Say, by the third or fourth CTRL-V the object will paste with the pointer already on the object’s guide point; sometimes though it apparently never does, no matter how many times I paste, and it seems to always fail to do it when I’m pasting a ton of objects. Which is totally bogus.

Yes, sometimes I lasso an object before deleting it, but that is kind of a braindead way to deal with what ought to be a simple and straightforward operation. It’s an entity atop a face. Select entity; hit the delete key; watch entity go away and not take the face with it. But nooooo…

Oh, and @DaveR better not use this as an excuse to start yelling about components again.

You’ve already made it clear you aren’t interested in components so I’m not going to say anything to you about them.

So there.

no no, I understood the first time.

hence my answer. you can’t.

ctrlC/V will create, if needed, a temporary bounding box around your selection, just like when you make a group, and when you paste, it will select the origin of this bounding box. it’s, as far as I know, the closest point to the actual origin


Say you select a bunch of elements and make a ctrlC
it will copy the selection from this point. here, I’ve temporary made a group to make it more obvious. why ? because it’s the closest point of the bounding box from the origin of the file.

Capture d’écran 2023-10-22 à 18.59.13

now, and this, even if I explode the group, look where SU will place the “handle” of my copy :

exactly where the origin would have been placed by default if I created the group.


Changing the origin inside the group (if you’re copying groups) won’t change anything. it’s always this point, closest to the actual origin of the file.

Changing the origin and axis of the whole file will change the handle position, but it will always be on the surface of the bounding box.

don’t. 80% of the time, when people hit walls in SU, it’s because they try to do things too quick, in one go.
FIRST you copy from file A to file B.
THEN you move your copy to the desired place.
FINALLY you make multiple copies if needed.

if the guide point ends up in the closest corner of that bounding box, indeed it will be selected. but not because it’s a guide point. because it’s the closest.

ctrlC/V is not a precise tool. it’s just a way to make a quick copy or to copy between files. EVERYTHING precise should be made with the move tool, in several steps if needed.

well, I’m not dave, but the main thing I tell my trainees about making copies is that as soon as you have 2 copies of a same group, it’s time to make a component out of it.

but then again, you’re not paying me for this, you don’t have to listen.


Say I have to place 20 nut/bolts into a drawing, B. The “master” nut/bolt is in another drawing, A.

The master nut/bolt has a guide dead center along its longitudinal axis. I select this guide and CTRL-C.

When I open drawing B and then CTRL-V, the nut/bolt pastes in wherever the pointer happens to be on screen at the time, and the pointer almost never happens to snap to the guide within nut/bolt.

So, I then select the guide and move the nut/bolt to the desired location in B.

But, after pasting nut/bolt into B a few times the pointer is automagically on the guide every time I paste, which is one less step for a half-blind old guy like me to take.

The guide on the longitudinal axis of nut/bolt does not seem to be the nearest bounding box point of the nut/bolt. And SU does often snap to the guide point after several previously random pastes, but not always. I’d love to find a way to make it do that every time, and from the get go.

LOL … I’m not Dave either, and I have to say components would really help … like a lot. In fact, it might help get closer to what you’re trying to do.

Instead of copying the nut/bolt, make it a component and set the axes for it to correspond to that magic point of insertion you want to rely on. Right click and save (component) as… to a folder full of all such parts. In the master file, use the component palette to “open local collection” and open that folder. Drag the part in from that palette and it will drag around with your cursor and insert where you point and click based on that insertion point you chose when you made it.

Furthermore, you can then use that as a reference file. You can go back to the original part work file, edit or change it and “save as …” again (either over writing the original, or give it a version number). Back in the master file, right click on one example, choose “Reload…” and pick the revised version – all the old versions will be updated. It’s a good way to make a massive model out of lots of little parts that can be edited much faster in their own, lean little work files and then quickly updated with changes in the big model.


ok, for the third time, because you’re an “half-blind old guy” (your words, not mine)


Now, hear me out.

FIRST you copy from file B to file A and you set the bolt component somewhere near the tank

SECONDLY with the move tool already activated, you select your guide point and move your bolt to the desired location.

THIRD(LY?) you ctrl - move the bolt to all the other locations, selecting it by the guide point.

good, you didn’t read my previous message, it’s not “whatever the pointer is”.

what we have here is a refusal to learn / change habits I think.
we have a series of “oh my god this is so hard, and my computer crashes, it’s because of Colin, and Dave, and the devs, how can you people do this all the time” topics but at this point, I don’t think Saul has modified his way of modelling much since he arrived. Still makes too high poly circles, still refuses to uses component to make identical elements, and in a couple month, probably still will ctrlC/V everything instead of the copy method that allows him to make 20 copies from the desired point in a few movement. :sweat_smile:

here, I even took 4 min to illustrate the stamping method.

I made a large block with guides on it to show where to put the nuts.
I modelled a quick nut, with a guide point. and grouped it.

That would be the step you’re in after making your ctrlC/V from file B to file A, bringing your nut in your main project

I took the move tool, pressed ctrl twice to get not the copy tool but the stamp tool. Then clicked on the guide point, then simply clicked on ALL the places I wanted to have a nut.

And to illustrate how bad it is to make a group and not a component, in the end, I tried to modify one nut but the other didn’t change.
If only I had made components…

I placed 10 nuts in 20 seconds.


OP could also *gasp * learn something new and try out snaps in the latest version of SKP, something that might have promise for my workflow, but I have too many deadlines at the moment to mess around with upgrading…

Otherwise, copy / paste / paste in place then move / stamp or array are the quickest ways to make this go, as you’ve shown.

@Saul, don’t forget to look at the status bar down left with relevant information about any tool you are using!

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My SketchUping is a one-off project and SUP 2022 seems to be entirely stable. For me there’s no real upside to migrating to SUP 2023.

I hope to be done with SketchUp within a couple months! Then the nightmare will be over.